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January 09, 2009

With High Holiday Sales, iPod Touch Gains Market Share

Apple's (News - Alert) new iPod touch seems to have been a popular gift this holiday season with evidence that the high end iPod has advanced its market share.

AdMob, the world's largest mobile advertising marketplace, today revealed the numbers supporting the explosive iPod touch growth and smartphone Operating System (OS) market share in its December 2008 Mobile Metrics Report.
The report showed that iPod touch requests more than tripled worldwide from November to December, with a significantly large jump in requests the week after Christmas. With 4.7 percent market share, the iPod touch is now the number two device in the AdMob Network.
While a majority of iPod touch requests (70 percent) in December came from the U.S., it experienced strong growth across other major markets including Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany, and France. Together, the iPhone (News - Alert) and iPod touch make up 15.5 percent of all worldwide requests.
Apple's new iPod touch supports up to 36 hours of continuous audio play time and six hours of video playback. The new design is incredibly sleek and thin, with a contoured enclosure made of polished stainless steel. A built-in speaker lets users hear music, dialogue, and action without headphones.
For those kicking off the New Year by getting back in shape, iPod touch offers built-in wireless support for Nike + iPod. Just insert a Nike + iPod sensor into your shoe and start running. The new iPod touch starts at $229 for the 8GB and $399 for the 32GB model.

Another reason for the rising popularity of the iPod touch could be due to the increasingly innovative applications being introduced from the App Store.
The first impact was seen in early sales numbers for App Store applications on Christmas day. The number one ranked App Store applications (iFart Mobile) tripled in sales from 13,000 units a day to almost 39,000 units on Christmas day. This growth in sales, however, was not just limited to the number one spot and was seen across the entire App Store. Several game developers on reported sales boosts of three to four times across all titles, even for titles not in the top 100 listings.
The huge increase in App Store sales appears to be from a large influx of iPod touch users. Online retailer Amazon lists the 8GB and 16GB iPod Touch as the best selling MP3 players despite their higher cost.
While was a slight increase in the iPhone, most of the Christmas growth appears to be with the iPod touch. This trend is evidence of the difficulties in gifting an iPhone (cell phone contracts, activation fees, etc.) vs. an iPod touch.
The iPod touch is marketed by Apple as more than just an MP3 player with a specific focus on gaming. If these trends are true, then some of the jump in App Store downloads should continue as it reflects actual marketshare growth rather than just a rise in spending for the holidays.
Apple reported net revenue for its first fiscal quarter, ended December 29, of $9.6 billion, a 35 percent year-over-year increase, out numbering estimates of $9.47 billion from analysts polled by Thomson (News - Alert) Financial.

The company also posted quarterly net profit of $1.58 billion, a rise from the $1 billion net profit from the year-earlier quarter. Apple recorded earnings of $1.76 per share.

Unit shipments of the iPod grew 5 percent over the same period last year at 22.1 million units. Apple sold 2.3 million iPhones during the quarter, a sequential increase from the 1.12 million iPhones it shipped in its fourth fiscal quarter. The company shipped 2.3 million Macintosh computers, a 44 percent growth from the year-earlier quarter.

AdMob’s report also revealed that smartphone share saw an increase from 22 percent of total requests worldwide in May to 33 percent in December.
With 41 percent share, Symbian is the number one smartphone OS worldwide. In Asia and Africa, it has more than 90 percent share, however the iPhone is starting to catch up in Latin America and Europe.
The iPhone OS had 32 percent worldwide share in December, up from 6 percent in May.
Worldwide, BlackBerry (News - Alert) manufacturer RIM has 10 percent and Windows Mobile has 9 percent OS share. Both companies are strongest in North America and Latin America.
Palm maintains 4 percent of smartphone OS share worldwide, with more than 95 percent of its requests coming from North America. In the U.S., Palm had 9 percent share in December, dropping from 20 percent in July.
Android currently leads Symbian (News - Alert) in North America with 2 percent of OS share.
AdMob stores and analyzes handset and operator data from every ad request in its network to optimize ad serving. Each month, the Mobile Metrics Report aggregates this data to highlight major trends in the mobile ecosystem.
As the world's largest and highest quality mobile advertising marketplace, AdMob serves more than 4.6 billion mobile banner and text ads per month. Incorporated in April 2006, AdMob allows advertisers to reach their customers on the mobile Web and enables publishers to increase the value of their mobile sites. AdMob makes it easy for publishers to monetize their mobile traffic and for advertisers to target and reach customers on the mobile Web in more than 160 countries.

Michelle Robart is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Michelle's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michelle Robart


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